Joey Votto undergoes season-ending rotator cuff surgery

Joey Votto undergoes season-ending rotator cuff surgery

Joey VottoThe season is over, as the Reds’ longtime first baseman told reporters (including Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer) that he will have surgery Friday to repair a torn rotator cuff.

As Votto told reporters (including representatives of Bally Sports), that he has been suffering from his shoulder since 2015, if only “painful to the point that it is… hard to lift, hurts to sleep‘ the past months. “The doctor told me that with this kind of injury you reach a breaking point at some point, and you don’t handle it very well.”, said Votto, and that proverbial breaking point only occurred this season. The procedure has a rehab period of about six months, so Votto should be ready around the start of the Reds’ Spring Training camp.

Votto’s 16th season will end with 91 games played, as in addition to this rotator cuff problem, he also missed more than two weeks on the COVID-19 list in May. The veteran posted a .205/.319/.370 slashline and hit 11 home runs over 376 at bats — hitting well in his first few weeks after returning from the COVID roster, but otherwise the 2022 season was a struggle.

While match count is certainly a factor, Votto’s 92 wRC+ is the worst of his career, and it’s the second time in four seasons that Votto’s offensive production has fallen below the league average 100 wRC+ threshold. Votto hit pretty well in 2020, but it was still rumored that his best days were behind him… before Votto exploded with another outstanding season in 2021. The first baseman hit 36 ​​home runs (also the second-highest total of his career) as a senior as he reached .266/.375/.563 in 533 PA.

It’s safe to say that Votto’s increasingly problematic rotator cuff injury was the cause of his 2022 dropout, as the lesser version of his shoulder pain hasn’t stopped posting MVP caliber numbers on multiple occasions since 2015. Now the injury is now Finally addressed, it’s possible that Votto has another big appearance in store for 2023. That said, Votto will also be 39 years old next season, and even with a fixed rotator cuff he may not be immune to the aging curve that players outside usually limited from their peak years.

The return from surgery also adds another wrinkle to what Votto’s farewell season could be all about. 2023 is the last guaranteed season of the 10-year $225 million extension that Votto signed in April 2012, although Cincinnati has a $20 million club option (with a $7 million buyout) for 2024. If Votto did return to its form for 2021, that could be enough for the Reds to make the $13MM decision to bring back the franchise’s old face, even if the Reds have focused more on lowering the last two seasons. of the payroll.

Votto’s own feelings will of course also be a factor, as he has hinted in the past that he would retire if he no longer enjoys playing the game. It remains to be seen how Votto will approach this final decision as he will certainly weigh factors such as his health, how close the Reds are to battle, and his performance in 2023, as well as the personal satisfaction he still achieves. from baseball. When he decides to hang up the gauntlet, Votto is sure to get a lot of attention from Hall Of Fame voters, and a ticket to Cooperstown could well be Votto’s longer-term future.

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